Letting someone know that you’re not interested in them romantically can be awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s a valuable life skill. Most of us don’t like hurting people and rejection can sting, still it’s better than getting someone’s hopes up or having them waste their time and energy on you when you know it’s never going to happen.
To help it sting a little less, dating experts share their tips for rejecting someone nicely, but firmly.
- Decide how to reject them – The first thing you have to figure out is how you’re going to deliver the news. Lots of people think you should tell them in person, but sex and dating coach Myisha Battle says it’s totally fine to reject someone over text if you’ve only gone out a few times and mainly communicate through text. But if you’ve been dating for a few months, she says it might be best to have a face-to-face chat.
- Ditch the guilt – “First, it’s important to move away from an ‘I am rejecting you’ mindset to embrace a ‘we’re not a good match’ mindset,” explains psychologist Carla Marie Manly. It’s totally normal to feel guilty for turning someone down, but thinking of it as “we’re not a good match” can help you shake the guilt so you can both move on.
- Consider your timing – Rejection is hard to give, but it’s tougher to receive, so be thoughtful about when you break the bad news, for both you and them.
- Be honest – Don’t make up excuses, rely on cliches like “it’s not you, it’s me,” or beat around the bush. Just be honest with them about why you feel like things won’t work, Battle suggests. Now that doesn’t mean you should pile on with all the things you don’t like about them, just be direct and make it clear that the door is definitely closed for you, and do it with kindness.
- Accept that they may be hurt – You can’t control the way someone else feels, so the best you can do is to let them know how you feel so there’s no uncertainty about where you stand. How they handle the rejection is ultimately up to them.
Source: Mind Body Green